Cliff Greely, Churchwarden Emeritus of the Parish of Bengeo, tells us the story of St. Leonard’s Church, a rich history of over 800 years.
The Parish of Bengeo is somewhat unusual in possessing two churches in regular use. Saint Leonard’s built shortly after the Norman Conquest served as the parish church until 1855 when this role passed to the new and much larger church of Holy Trinity designed by Benjamin Ferrey. However, for the latter part of the 19th and the early part of the 20th century, Bengeo possessed no less than five churches.
Christ Church in Port Vale served the area that is now known as Lower Bengeo and was made redundant in 1968 when certain features were transferred to Holy Trinity. Saint Mary’s Chapel of Ease served the community of Tonwell and has now been incorporated into the church school there, while Saint Michael’s at Waterford was made into a separate parish about a 100 years ago.
Let us begin our tour of the parish with Saint Leonard’s.